The Laikipia Governor, Ndiritu Muriithi has launched a cashless mode of payment that will assist local residents to remit their taxes and parking fees online.
The technology which involves use of a smart phone through dialing *861* will make it easier for all taxpayers, including those at the grassroots to pay their dues at their location.
While unveiling the cashless payment mode at a Nanyuki Hotel, Governor Muriithi, said the residents’ commitment in paying taxes has seen revenue collection grow tremendously.
The Governor noted his Government is intending to increase its development budget by Sh.382 million in the 2019/ 2020 financial year to reach the minimum legal target of 30 percent.
“The County is intending to cap wages and salaries at Sh. 2.4 Billion as opposed to the current at Sh. 2.8 million in financial year 2019/ 2020,” Ndiritu noted.
He added that the current Laikipia County’s development budget is Sh. 1.1 billion, clear evidence that wages and salaries are taking a big chunk of funds which should go to development.
“The wages and salaries take 56.7 percent of the total budget, and according to county Government’s regulations of 2015 wages and salaries should not be more than 35 percent of the total budget,” the Governor pointed out.
Ndiritu added that his government has put a proposal before the County Assembly to reduce the wage bill, which if not checked will slow down his government’s efforts to develop the County. “Apart from wages and salaries, there are other additional expenditures which include, pension and annual leave allowances for the county workforce,” he added.
The County Executive committee Member (CECM) for Finance, Boniface Murungi said Laikipia County revenue Board is an independent body and has been mandated to collect revenue on behalf of the County.
He said in the financial year 2017/2018 a total of Sh. 608,463,783 was collected as the County’s own source. “We are very optimistic that we will achieve our revenue budget of Sh. 800 million in financial year 2018/2019,” he added.
The Chairperson, Laikipia Revenue Board (LCRB), Wangari Wachira, said the fundamental role of the revenue collected is to enable the County Government meet its transformation agenda.
“Towards achieving this goal, LCRB has put in place the tax base expansion strategy which is geared towards focusing on new, prospective revenue frontiers,” she noted.
The County revenue Board, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Prudence Waithera said the key revenue streams are land rates, Single business, Permits, parking fees, County Natural resources ,cess and buildings.
The governor later launched a three days exercise organized by Laikipia Revenue Board, to sensitize rates payers on their obligations and at the same time give them an opportunity to engage the County Government on various issues.
By Margaret Kirera